Scenic USA - California

Lake Tenaya

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Lake Tenaya - Yosemite National Park, California

Photo by Roger Gillette
Inset photos by Mike Matenkosky

     Years before Yosemite Valley achieved park status, Tioga Road View of Mammoth Peak - Yosemite National Park, CA the naturalist John Muir had written countless pages in a journal about the Valley and the surrounding Sierra Mountains. Today’s four million annual visitors lend credence to Muir’s writings, when some first believed they were highly exaggerated claims to conveyed his passion for the High Sierra.
     Although the Valley is magnificent and certainly lives up to Muir’s description as one of the world’s greatest cathedrals, it’s a shame the majority of visitors seldom leave Yosemite Valley. Connecting the western section of Yosemite National Park with the east, Tioga Road climbs the crest of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and drops down into Owens Valley. This alpine route showcases numerous Yosemite National Park View near Tioga Pass - Yosemite National Park, CA viewpoints and landmarks that shouldn’t be missed. One of these wonders, Lake Tenaya, is found right along the roadside.
     Mirrored a masterpiece of nature, the calm waters of Lake Tenaya are further enhanced by a dusting of light snow to the surrounds of this Tioga Road panorama. Echo Peak, rising up in the background, is accompanied by Tenaya Peak to the right. Lake Tenaya and Tenaya Peak were named for the chief of the Ahwahneechee Tribe. Chief Tenaya protested the name, stating the lake already had a name, Pywiack, or lake of shiny rocks. Suffering a similar fate of most American Natives, members of the Ahwahneechee Tribe were driven out of Yosemite Valley and forced onto a reservation. Numerous skirmishes followed the tribe for years until the Valley was aligned to the wishes of white settlers and prospectors.

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